Monday, February 15, 2010

Balangay Chronicles: Week 2

February 11, 2010 - Salay, Misamis Oriental

Team Balangay left Benoni port for Salay at around 8AM. It was another windy morning and Balangay Masawa Hong Butuan was sailing beautifully. But Diwata ng Lahi broke one of her rudders which slowed down both boats.

The two balangays arrived in Salay a little after lunch. The boats docked at the beach and we settled in the bamboo cottages along the shore. Dinner was hosted by the Salay LGU. Again, I pitched my tent beside one of the cottages and had a good mosquito-free rest.

The following morning, we were joined by the news crew from ABS-CBN -  Cagayan de Oro and Mr. Jun Sy and company of TAO Corporation, one of the major sponsors of the Voyage of the Balangay. They would be the team's guest crew for the grand entry to Cagayan de Oro.

February 12, 2010 - Cagayan de Oro City

Team Balangay arrived in Cagayan de Oro City with a grand welcome from the local government and representatives from the different regional offices. Among those present were officials and staff from the Mayor's Office, DOT, DILG, PPA and PCG. There were also representatives from the media who attended the mini-press conference right after docking. Mama also came in from Butuan with Tita Linda.

The team was billeted at El Reva Suites, courtesy of TAO Corporation. Our first night was spent eating Korean food with Mr. Jun Sy and company. The following day, the crew did some minor repairs on Balangay Diwata ng Lahi. Others joined the tree-planting activity with the Philippine Coast Guard. The third day was Valentine's Day, a Sunday. It was liberty time so some of the crew went white water rafting while the others spent the day at the mall.

On Monday morning, Sir Art and some crew members attended the flag ceremony at the City Hall before the team departed for Initao.

Balangay Masawa Hong Butuan being towed to the pier in Cagayan de Oro 

(Special thanks to the personnel of Philippine Coast Guard - Northern Mindanao, headed by Commander Eduardo Gongona, for their assistance at our port stops and during our entire stay in Cagayan de Oro. Thank you also to the crew of Philippine Navy vessel PG-389, headed by CDR Emmanuel Bello, for escorting Team Balangay from Butuan to Cagayan de Oro.)

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